January 17, 2011

Civil Myass: How About We DON’T Tone It Down for a Change?

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"Go ahead. Take my pay."

I like Michael Medved well enough-- even if I do wonder “Just exactly what is the ‘second’ most popular show on politics and culture?” Alas, like many of the long running rightpundits of late he’s begun to grate on me with his too often tossed off chunks of pundit kibble.

The bowl of kibble served lukewarm today was his predictable, almost Talmudic, examination of why the Right (in Medved speak “everyone -- my angry listeners especially”) needs to tone it down. He was especially vociferous when repeating his often stated belief that Barack Obama is not actually out to harm America. Again and again he rebuffed callers with this assertion; an assertion that I fail to see reflected in almost every act, if not every word, uttered by the president. But evidently Medved does and whenever he goes to this assertion, as he goes to several Medved-branded mental tape loops, I always think, “Well, maybe in your happy world.”

Like other pundits dispensing his daily kibble, Medved has his schtick and his “reasonable thoughtful man on the right now brings you angry and/or whacko guests and phone-ins” for your continued listening pleasure. It’s a branding mechanism and Medved certainly can’t default to the Full Savage. That slot is already taken, thank you very much. Instead, Medved chooses to become the very model of the rigorously rational rightist who seeks to “engage on the issues and leave the passions out of it.” He’s uniquely equipped to do so and it works for him as far as it goes.

Of course, he’s being co-opted nicely by the uncivil civilians of the left who started and have sustained the whole silly civility discussion for a week. Since he’s an intelligent man Medved may even know it but, locked in his radio persona, he can only go with it. He’s got some company in that with pundit after pundit checking in to say, in essence, “You know, they have a point. We should be more civil.” Which is, of course, a fatal step since they all and sundry have just violated a cardinal debating principle of William F. Buckley: To paraphrase, “Never, ever accept an opponent,s premise. Get you opponent to accept yours.”

Aficionados of Buckley’s classic “Firing Line” shows will recall the master’s method of reducing “infallible arguments to fallacious premises.” What Medved and the other consolers of the left are doing these days in their engagement with this strawest of dogs is elevating the left’s fallacious premise that the right is most uncivil to an infallible argument. That argument is that the Right really has been (without really knowing it) most uncivil and needs to clean up its act if “our politics” are to return to a level and “civil” playing field.

O timor! O mortis! O would that Buckley wouldst be living at this hour to set Medved and the fellow travelers at National Review back on the Right path. Instead, Medved and others are in danger of becoming the poster children for the spoonerism, “I used to be Snow Right, but I drifted.”

Does this work? Why yes it does. Time after time, the nice Right falls over themselves in falling for it. Already we see that chinless, lying gobschmucked putz E.J. Dionne Jr.calling for a "GOP test: A civil and honest health-care discussion." Oh really? Like the oh-so-civil and oh-so-honest health-care discussion that went on for most of 2009 in the congress? I. Don't. Think. So. Dionne, you cretinous, chancrous tool. My "discussion" with you and your ilk starts with "ST" and runs to "FU."

I'm against the trend of the last few days as the “Rational right pundits” slowly and steadily buy into the Big Lie that the Right is being uncivil. The fact of the matter is that it hasn’t been, it has only been perceived to be by the left now that they losing their grip on the absolute power they thought they would hold onto forever since 2008.

In historic terms, in America and elsewhere in the world, the Left always becomes increasingly uncivil in direct proportion to its loss of power. When they gain power the pleasures of being uncivil on the left do not, of course, stop with talk. Ever. And after they achieve absolute power in other societies, it always and everywhere goes directly to guns and purges. That’s their method and their madness, over and over again, and we ignore it at our peril. With the left in power, you don't get a lot of lonely lunatics shooting random people in the head, you get organized death squads shooting people on lists in the head.

Conversely, when power begins to slip away from the left in America it invariably calls out for more civility from its opponents and will riot to get it. This is what is happening now and the left, should it be successful in this -- look for it to be harped on at the forthcoming state of the union address -- it will be the first to whip out the long knives, declare a Kristallnacht, a cultural revolution, and lock and load.

The left not only expects the “nice guys” of the “rational right” to come around to their way of thinking, they depend upon it. And they should since that’s been the pattern of these things for as long as I can remember.

I’ve even tried this a couple of times but, alas, no longer. My nice, reasonable right guy is all used up these days. I've got compassion fatigue. I see the left dealing, once again, from the bottom of their media marked card deck (when do they do otherwise?), and I’m not feeling too civil about them and their plans these days. I've seen enough of their "handful of 'gimme' and mouth full of 'gimme more'."

Speaking for myself -- in a calm and rational tone as I reach to upset their crooked card table and draw my metaphoric popcult pistol -- I have to say, “I know what you're thinking. ‘Did he fire six insults or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as we're playing for the future of the Republic, and being as this is a 2010 iMac, the most powerful personal computer in the world, and would blow your premise clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? ”

Or, to quote the much more pithy Don Surber, "The left wants us to be civil -- after being so uncivil for a decade. Bite me."

Posted by Vanderleun at January 17, 2011 3:05 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I listen to Medved also, being a resident of the PNW, and while I think he's a great guy, this is getting on my nerves too. The only thing he gets exercised about is rapid transit boondoggels.

Posted by: pbird at January 17, 2011 4:14 PM

The Left hates it when you play by their rules.
Hey, punch them in the stomach while their back is turned.

Posted by: Peccable at January 17, 2011 4:16 PM

Love it, Gerard! And, what's with this idea going around that there will be mixed seating for the state of the union address so the cameras won't be able to show half the chamber sitting on their hands while the other half erupts in approbatory applause? They want Jim DeMint to sit there holding hands with Chuck Schumer?

I have to deny the notion that the leftards just now miraculously perceived incivility by the right. They made it all up out of whole cloth, probably had a contingency plan on the shelf for just such an occasion.

Posted by: John Hinds at January 17, 2011 4:39 PM

Bill Bennett is even worse than Medved in this respect. I remember him saying after the '08 election, "Obama is my President and I support him. Maybe he'll govern from the center. We'll see." He was obviously "taking the high road" and distancing himself from the "Bush is not my President!" kind of crap we heard from the left for eight long years. It made me want to rip the radio out of the dashboard and hurl it out the car window.

Good article, and I like Surber's too. I also saw a piece by Subotai Bahadur at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. In it, he quotes Shannon Love from Chicago Boyz as to why we must not soften our political discourse:

Forty years ago, the left were the outsiders seeking to impose a collectivist vision on America. Back then, the left supported all free speech no matter how extreme. They succeeded all too well and the leftist leaders of today were the vitriolic outsiders of the 70s. Now that they are the establishment, they want everything cool and calm. They want the people passive.

Read the whole thing.

A House Divided

Posted by: rickl at January 17, 2011 5:21 PM

Hooray!
I am so glad to see this post. I listened to Medved's show today, and I damn near turned him off. I was yelling at him all the way down Interstate 15. You nailed it Gerard. Among the conerstones of leftist thought is the notion that America is too big, too rich, too powerful, and too influential for its own good. The left wants to see the U.S. taken down a peg. Obama's famous comment on American exceptionalism tell the whole story. He is steeped in leftism. His worldview calls for some sort of international egalitarianism wherein America has no more or less of a role than Spain, or Portugal.
Medved is dead wrong.

JWM

Posted by: jwm at January 17, 2011 5:53 PM

Like the lady said-
in the Progressive Dictionary of Post-Modern American English,
censorship = civility

Posted by: dr kill at January 17, 2011 6:33 PM

Just checked the dictionary again-
Medved = useful butthead

Posted by: dr kill at January 17, 2011 6:34 PM

Good point about the Nice guys on the right. I agree. Not this time. Lets see them give ground for a change. Alot of ground.

Archive time. Thanks for the fun.

Posted by: cond0010 at January 17, 2011 7:28 PM

I suppose my agreement with this post makes me an official right wing extremist. Now all I need is the t-shirt.

Posted by: Harry at January 17, 2011 7:32 PM

"Time after time, the nice Right falls over themselves in falling for it. Already we see that chinless, lying gobschmucked putz E.J. Dionne Jr.calling for a "GOP test: A civil and honest health-care discussion." Oh really? Like the oh-so-civil and oh-so-honest health-care discussion that went on for most of 2009 in the congress? I. Don't. Think. So. Dionne, you cretinous, chancrous tool. My "discussion" with you and your ilk starts with "ST" and runs to "FU."

All props to Don Surber, Gerard, but they is some pithy wisdom there too!! WELL SAID, AMIGO!!

Posted by: jewishOdysseus at January 17, 2011 7:36 PM

Medved is really a mediocre intellect.

Posted by: df at January 17, 2011 7:41 PM

I disagree. I think that the best way to put a good face forward would be for Republicans to voluntarily publish a registry of right-wing punditry, similar to a sex-offender list. All blog entries could be forwarded to the registry, and submitted for comment to the FCC and the credentialed press. This would establish once and for all that most Republican political speech is acceptable and would prove that it is not extremist. I would love to see this idea debated on the TV panel shows.

Posted by: Constructive Republican at January 17, 2011 7:48 PM

Yeah. I'd really love to hear an explanation from the always-preening Nancy Pelosi on why we on the right should be kindly disposed and inclusive toward her kind.

Posted by: at January 17, 2011 8:42 PM

Yeah, you nailed it.

--Gray

Posted by: Gray at January 17, 2011 10:07 PM

There is not one right-wing bone in Medved's body. People like this leave the Left when the odor becomes too intense and we congratulate them for that, but they never underwent a transformation.

Posted by: james wilson at January 17, 2011 10:31 PM

There is a new utility out there that allow one to post on ANY website called PostNote. You have to have the program to see the notes, but if unrestrained posting is done the libtards will go nuts to get it so they can refute anything said...It is easy to download, and allows one to express oneself openly and freely. For instance, one can post comments on islamic newspapers, CAIR website, obummers white house sites etc, and there is not a thing they can do about it. When a large number of people have it, there is going to be hell to pay on government websites, PC websites etc....I LOVE IT!

Posted by: CW Orange at January 18, 2011 12:20 AM

Great article. "Whatever it takes to maintain power over others" is the (silent) leftist mantra.

Posted by: Brett_McS at January 18, 2011 12:40 AM

Amen brother! I have had it with our side carefully noting the 809 ways some commie-lib is provably dishonest and then trying to disprove the dishonest premise of the commie-lib. If they accuse Sarah Palin of being a Martian the weak and worthless on our side will spend all their time tryimg to document the earthly origins of her. The Left lies, the moderates just want everyone to get along, and the Right tries to prove we aren't monsters. Don't engage their premise. Call them collectivist liars and go on offense.

Posted by: Scott M at January 18, 2011 3:36 AM

Amen brother! I have had it with our side carefully noting the 809 ways some commie-lib is provably dishonest and then trying to disprove the dishonest premise of the commie-lib. If they accuse Sarah Palin of being a Martian the weak and worthless on our side will spend all their time tryimg to document the earthly origins of her. The Left lies, the moderates just want everyone to get along, and the Right tries to prove we aren't monsters. Don't engage their premise. Call them collectivist liars and go on offense.

Posted by: Scott M at January 18, 2011 3:40 AM

Reasonable Thoughtful Man of the Right: Have you been listening to Michael Medved?

Gerard: Yeah, I've been listening to him on my own time. And anybody can tell I didn't debate him.

Reasonable Thoughtful Man of the Right: How?

Gerard: Cause he looks too damn good, that's how!

Posted by: MOTUS at January 18, 2011 6:47 AM

Is Clint Eastwood cross-eye dominant?

Posted by: Mac McWhirter at January 18, 2011 7:21 AM

Pundits? We don't need no stinkin' pundits.

Posted by: Jewel at January 18, 2011 8:17 AM

Well said Scott, it is impossible to have a reasoned exchange with a liar, and the entire leftist construct is Utopian fantasy. As WFB so adroitly pointed out in the second half of one of his most famous quotes, "I'd rather be ruled by the first 500 names in the Boston telephone directory than the faculty of Harvard. Because given a choice, the faculty of Harvard will vote for utopia, and the pursuit of Utopia in the 20th century has led us to the death camps, and the gulag."

Posted by: Casca at January 18, 2011 9:29 AM

Absolutely perfect. All conservatives who spent the last few days patting Barry on the back for his performance at the pep rally for the dead should read this and try thinking for a change.

Posted by: George Orwell at January 18, 2011 12:42 PM

The point I'd make on this topic is that by definition a liberal is dishonest. This includes your nice neighbor that is on the school board, all "journolists", and others that claim to just be liberal on this or that topic. As such once you spend 3 minutes and discuss a topic factually and you see no change of mind, you should point out their dishonesty and stop trying to convince them.

All liberals that haven't changed their mind about liberal tyranny after Hitler, Mao, and Stalin are willfully ignorant. All liberals that won't change their mind on socialized medicine, education, etc after the decline of the US and Europe are willfully ignorant. All liberals that refuse to change their mind about weakening the military after Sept 11 are willfully ignorant. It's not only a waste of time to argue with them it is a positive evil for it gets you wrapped up in their premise. The weaker among us will eventually modify their views or withdraw when they reach the limit of their facts or patience.

Treat liberals, even your neighbor on the school board who claims not to be a Red, as you would treat an addict or pedophile. They have decided or are mentally immune from facts and examples. Call them out as what they are, they argue about points that they don't believer (NOW, ACLU, PETA) simply because that argument at that time is the tactic to win. Tomorrow they will be happy to take the opposite point of view and claim that is the undying principle of their side.

You don't keep talking to a con-man about how things will work when you give over your money to him after you recognize he is a con-man. You call him out as a con-man and warn others, not become an expert on winning at 3 card Monty.

But the weak and worthless media types on our side, plus the weak sisters in our grass roots, first decides they will reach a pleasant conclusion about the Left and then defines what they learn about their opponent as nice. Stop watching and consuming media from the commie-left, don't keep watching it with an ironic mind. Recognize that all "journolists" are commie-libs that actively ignore all non-commie-lib points of view and will rush in to smear any innocent person if that is in tomorrow's talking points. Don't withhold judgment on "reporters" and columnists from this or that slightly less commie-lib rag because you kinda like what one of them says or every 8.7 years he says a 1% less commie-lib thing. Recognize they all are dishonest, by definition, and shame anyone that turns to the commie-lib establishment for news or entertainment.

Posted by: Scott M at January 18, 2011 12:45 PM

civil = pc = letists trying to shut up conservatives.

Posted by: reliapundit at January 18, 2011 3:14 PM

One tactic I've noticed leftists using on talk shows and elsewhere in the media is to wax nostalgic about "what conservatives used to be like" in an effort to sound reasonable, tolerant and conciliatory.

Translation: they liked it better when the few prominent conservatives then extant acted like proper House Boys. All dressed up and ready to go "Yassuh! Nossuh!" and then leave the room.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at January 18, 2011 3:30 PM

Hallelujah I'm a bum
Hallelujah bum again
Hallelujah gimme a handout....

Enough Michael.

To quote Vinny Gambini "I'm done wid this one."

Posted by: Kate Rafferty at January 18, 2011 3:45 PM

How long have I refrained from using the word 'liar' to call some lying sonofabitch a liar. It feels good, once more to be able to use it without the fear of caring whether or not I hurt the lying liar's feelings.

Posted by: Jewel at January 18, 2011 7:45 PM

And how does that mean? I do not understand anything.

Posted by: Allison at August 25, 2011 10:57 PM